Top 50 Film of Last 50 Years

Worth their weight in Gold Series

Gold Standard

It is the eternal debate: which are the biggest films of all time?

If you were to go by box-office collections, the list would be dominated by very recent films like 3 Idiots, Bodyguard, Dabaang, Ready, Ghajini, Golmaal 3 and Singham – all of which have crossed the Rs 100-crore mark in domestic collections.

‘Not fair!’ some would protest. The large numbers chalked up by these films represent the devaluation of money or, in other words, inflation. Earlier films may seem to have lower numbers, but if there was some way of measuring apples-to-apples by taking inflation out of the picture, then the pecking order would be quite different.

Fair point. But the million-dollar question, quite literally, is how do you arrive at an objective measure to create a level playing field to compare films across eras? The official inflation rates are ridden with weaknesses – for one, they are based on the wholesale prices, rather than the more appropriate consumer prices; second, the-powers-that-be keep changing the algorithm. No wonder, announcements of official estimates of inflation are more often than not subject to subsequent revisions.

So if we can’t use the official inflation rates, then we are back to square one – how, and with what, do you compare a Mughal- E-Azam to a Sholay to a DDLJ to a 3 Idiots to a Bodyguard?

In this week’s issue, which releases in the afterglow of the festive season of Diwali, we have tried to compare films of different eras using a commodity that has been used as a bankable and valued currency since time immemorial and is the object (and also the motivation!) of worship as we pray to the Goddess Lakshmi to bless with prosperity at Diwali – Gold!

Check out our very interesting number-crunching on major films over the last five decades using the relative price of gold in different years to arrive at a hypothetical current value of box-office collections of past films.


Without giving the suspense away, I must say that the results of the ‘gold test’ are very startling indeed. And while the utility of this academic exercise is largely, well, academic, it does give credence to the adage – Old is Gold!

Happy Diwali and Happy Reading!



Top 50 Film of Last 50 Years
No.YearMovieNBOCValue of Gold at the time of Film’s releaseBox Office Value of the Film in today’s time
11960Mughal E Azam5,50,00,000119.0012,34,95,79,832
21961Ganga Jamuna3,50,00,000127.007,36,37,79,528
51963Mere  Mehboob3,00,00,000141.005,68,51,06,383
61970Johny Mera Naam4,00,00,000185.005,77,85,46,713
111969Do Raaste3,25,00,000180.004,82,44,44,444
121965Jab Jab Phool Khile2,75,00,000157.004,68,02,54,777
131971Haathi Mera Saathi3,50,00,000200.004,67,22,62,190
141966Phool Aur Patthar2,75,00,000163.004,50,79,75,460
151967Ram Aur Shyam2,75,00,000171.004,29,70,76,023
172001Gadar Ek Prem Katha70,00,00,0004,579.004,08,46,27,614
181964Ayee Milan Ki Bela2,25,00,000149.004,03,48,99,329
191971Mera Gaon Mera Desh3,00,00,000200.004,00,47,96,163
211970Sachaa Jhutha2,75,00,000185.003,97,27,50,865
221960Barsaat Ki Raat1,75,00,000119.003,92,94,11,765
241965Himalay Ki God Mein2,25,00,000157.003,82,92,99,363
251994Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun65,00,00,0004,667.003,72,12,57,103
261969Ek Phool Do Mali2,50,00,000180.003,71,11,11,111
271966Mera Saaya2,25,00,000163.003,68,83,43,558
301970Aan Milo Sajna2,50,00,000185.003,61,15,91,696
321972Seeta Aur Geeta3,25,00,000243.003,57,99,97,526
3420093 Idiots2,02,50,00,00015,864.003,41,07,41,301
361963Taj Mahal1,75,00,000141.003,31,63,12,057
381966Teesri  Manzil2,00,00,000163.003,27,85,27,607
391970Purab Aur Paschim2,25,00,000185.003,25,04,32,526
401977Amar Akbar Anthony7,50,00,000638.003,14,14,10,500
421998Kuch Kuch Hota Hai50,00,00,0004,268.003,13,02,71,790
431995Dilwale Dulhaniyan Le Jayenge58,00,00,0004,958.003,12,60,28,724
451968Do Kaliyan2,00,00,000176.003,03,63,63,636
471962Bees Saal Baad1,50,00,000134.002,99,10,44,776
501970Jeevan Mrityu2,00,00,000185.002,88,92,73,356
Box Office India
Collection Chart
As on 16th September, 2017
Poster Boys110.31Cr10.31Cr
The Rally11.54Lk1.54Lk
Mr. Kabaadi11.61Lk1.61Lk

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